Wow! This is my very first post…hmmm…I feel so powerful. Do you? Feel powerful? That’s what this particular post is all about. Power. Yours, mine, hers, his, theirs. Do you hold on to it, lose it, give it away? You choose. That’s the important part. YOU choose. Failure to choose means you abdicate responsibility and allow someone else to decide for you. Don’t do that. Don’t let anyone take your power from you. Guard it. With everything you have inside. After all, when you lose it, you lose the ability to hold onto – what? Your purse, your keys, your jewelry, your identity…your life, the life of a loved one? So, remember growing up, Mom would say ‘check the back seat before you get into your car’? Well, mine said that. And I did. But my world seemed to be a kinder, gentler place. That could be just my perception, but you know what they say. Your perception is your reality. What I KNOW is that when my daughter went away to college I didn’t just tell her to check the back seat before she got into her car. I gave her mace, a whistle, a phone. I would have done anything to keep her safe and I’ve been blessed. Now, 20 years later, Darling Daughter is alive and well, sightseeing with her oh, so precious family at Yellowstone.
Am I upsetting you? I’m so sorry. I get very intense about this. We’re losing our daughters – and our sons – to predators that should be abolished from our planet. They’re stealing our children from us, as if we’re powerless to stop them. Watch the news. Everyday at 6pm there’s no end to the pedophiles, rapists, kidnappers, terrorists that brazenly stare into the lens, into our homes. They’re in our churches, schools, restaurants, and businesses. They’re plotting, watching, following. As if that’s not enough, we have depression, loneliness, hunger, prescription drugs, and domestic violence to deal with. Parenting is tough. We raise them only to give our precious children up to a world gone crazy. We have to protect them, yet allow them to be young and joyful. So how do we take power away from those that would do harm? Vigilance, my friend. Refusal to surrender your power as a parent.
Sign your kids up for self-defense training. Teach them that certain situations, certain times of the day or night, certain areas are more dangerous than others. Ask for their help and their input. Get them involved in church and civic activities. Talk to other parents and verify arrangements for chaperones during parties and other events. Know their friends. That’s probably the most difficult to accomplish. Years ago I would tell our children that if you lay down with dogs you’ll get up with fleas…you see the point I’m trying to make there, right? Our daughter would insist that I was refusing to see the possibility that she might raise others to her level rather than sink to theirs. I reminded her that gravity is a law which must be obeyed. It will always be easier to fall rather than rise in our society. Oh, another thing – pray with your children. Let them know you pray for them. Tell them how precious they are, how irreplaceable in your life they are. Love them with your whole heart.
By the way, in the interest of full disclosure, I must warn you there’s much hard work and heartache involved in raising children. Just in case you haven’t become a parent yet, yes, they’re cute, cuddly, lots of fun. Yours will, of course, be brilliant like you, but they’ll bring you grief you can’t imagine…and joy beyond your wildest dreams. We must do everything in our power to care for them and keep them safe. It’s a dangerous world.